Red Bulls vs. NYC FC
Photo Credit: Michael Franco

Red Bulls Spoil Cincinnati's Night of Celebration and Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

To the victor, belong the spoils. The New York Red Bulls rode into Cincinnati and earned themselves three points in a 2-1 win and spoiled FC Cincinnati’s Supporters’ Shield celebration.

In desperate need of three points to remain in contention for the MLS Playoffs, the Red Bulls showed the top team in the league that they do not want their season to end just yet. This was only the third road win of the season for the Red Bulls, but they did well enough to hand Cincinnati just their second home loss of the season. Cincinnati was still able to celebrate their achievement of winning the Supporters’ Shield, but had the taste of defeat lingering for the celebration.

Head coach Troy Lesesne commended Cincinnati for their season as well as the statement New York made in their win.

“Irregardless of our game and the result tonight against them [Cincinnati], I think they’ve really turned things around and set a new standard for their club and it’s something I look up to,” Lesesne said. “For us to be able to get a result against a team like this, I think shows that we’re building something as well and while we’re in a position right now that’s outside of the playoffs, there’s so many things in place that have taken so much time to get in the right order and we have a lot more work to do.”

New York came out firing as they were quick to shoot the ball and get out in front early. In the 12th minute, midfielder Luquinhas gifted Frankie Amaya a pass just outside the crest of the 18-yard box where Amaya buried it in the bottom right of the net. Amaya scored his fifth goal of the season, not to mention against his former club.
Lesesne spoke on Amaya’s performance.

“For him to score the first goal and get us off the mark and really start to allow us to be in a position of being in the lead and take control of the match and the club he used to play for, it just tells you where Frankie is in his career right now and in the club,” Lesesne said. “I’m very happy for him and we’re going to need more of that from him in the last two matches in order to have a chance to make the playoffs.”

Just five minutes later, defender John Tolkin sent a ball into the box where forward Elias Manoel scored off the volley, giving the Red Bulls a 2-0 lead. Tolkin earned his ninth assist on the season which currently leads the team.
Manoel eventually scored his second goal of the match, but was called back after VAR determined Andrés Reyes had a hand ball in New York’s box on the previous play, gifting Cincinnati a penalty kick. Midfielder Luciano Acosta capitalized on the penalty and scored Cincinnati’s only goal of the match.

Things got chippy towards the end as Cincinnati was doing everything they could to equalize and salvage their night of celebration. A combined 33 fouls were committed with New York responsible for 18 of them. The second half accounted for seven total yellow cards and a red card given to Cincinnati’s Alvas Powell in the 88th minute. Four cards alone were handed out in the grueling 10 minutes of added time.

What’s Next
The Red Bulls are now at 37 points on the season and are still in the running against seven other Eastern Conference teams for the final couple of playoff spots. Right now, New York sits just one point out of the ninth seed.

The Red Bulls head back to Harrison for their match against Toronto FC on Saturday, October 7. This will be the last game at Red Bull Arena of the regular season and Fan Appreciation night. Still in survival mode, the Red Bulls will look to gain another three points on Saturday night.

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